My Boyfriend Still Loves His Ex, But I’m Cool With It—Here’s Why

Most people would agree that dating someone who isn’t over their ex probably isn’t a great foundation to build a relationship on. There’s just too much drama, not to mention the possibility of them leaving you for the ex they’re still pining for. I always imagined the situation would be too complicated and I wouldn’t be able to handle it but I’ve realized that’s not actually the case.

  1. It’s not a competition—I know he’s mine. I don’t see the point of getting hung up on a woman I don’t know and will probably never meet, especially when he’s chosen to be with me. He cares about me deeply—there’s no reason for me to doubt his feelings simply because he still has affection for someone he used to date. Unless your ex was a terrible person, it’s natural to still care about them in some way. I’m not going to deprive us of the beautiful thing we have because of that.
  2. He doesn’t let it get in the way of our relationship. I’ve never felt overlooked or like the shadow of his ex was hanging over us. She doesn’t come up in conversations except when we’re talking about our past relationships or something related. He pretty much confessed that she might have been the love of his life and he still loves her but also that they were bad for each other and they wouldn’t dream of ever getting back together again. I know that whatever he felt for her, no matter how big it was, is in the past now and has no bearing on the life we’re sharing together.
  3. She’s not one of those crazy ex-girlfriend types. If he didn’t tell me about her, I never would have known that she exists. She’s really not a part of our lives beyond their history. They text each other once in a while and that’s where it ends. She genuinely wants him to find love, be happy, and live his best life. In fact, I think she’s the kind of person I could easily be friends with.
  4. I can’t exactly ask him to stop having feelings for her. A relationship might be over but what you feel for the person doesn’t magically evaporate into thin air. Traces of it are bound to remain. Just because he’s with me now doesn’t mean he has to pretend what they had meant nothing. She was his whole life once, so it’s OK for him to still think fondly of that time. It wouldn’t be fair to him to ask him to close that chapter completely.
  5. I’m not interested in playing the role of jealous girlfriend. I’m secure in myself and our relationship. I like what we have and he makes me happy. I’m not going to go looking for problems where there are none. Jealousy is a tired act. I’ve made peace with the fact that he had a romantic life before me and as long as it’s not interfering with what we have now, I’m good.
  6. I admit it can be a lot of work sometimes. There are moments when I worry that I could never be as important to him as she was, but I realize that this is just me projecting and I don’t have anything to worry about. If we’re not meant to work out then we won’t, but not because I couldn’t fill some hole in his life. It gets tough when I try to measure up to the woman he says was the love of his life and I seem to come up short, but then I remember that he’s with me now, not her. That always gets me back on track.
  7. It helps me understand him better. His relationship with his ex offers me a unique perspective on how and why he does or doesn’t do some things in our relationship. I know he sometimes has problems making emotional connections because the breakup did a huge number on him. I know to not take it personally when this happens but love him through it regardless.
  8. They’ve been broken up for two years. It’s been two years since they were anything close to lovers—two years in which they had plenty of chances to get back together and try to fix what was broken between them, yet they haven’t. I think the chances of it happening now are pretty slim, so it’s easy to not work myself into a fit over it. I know for certain I’m not the rebound girl, what’s there to be bothered about?
  9. I think it’s great that he still cares about his ex and is friends with her. I think more of him for being friends with his ex and still caring deeply about her. It goes to show that he has remarkable character and that whatever happens with us, we’re going to be alright. Things are not going to be bitter and painful throughout and I’m always going to have a friend in him. How cool is that?
A girl preoccupied with living her best life even when it's uncomfortable to do so. She spends a lot of time with her thoughts. She hopes you enjoy reading the results of those thoughts.